View Full Version : Sleep -- 420w

March 27th, 2014, 02:44 AM

A toast-sized patch of carpet glowed a weird shade of yellow-white. The moon, having reached just the right angle in the sky, projected her light indiscriminately out across the land, painting the carpet in Heather’s bedroom. She cracked an eye open and studied the spot on the floor and waited for her brain to come alive. Finally she checked the clock and adjusted her internal awareness mechanism. She flushed the dreams from her mind and thought about the day before her.

Where the patch of moonlight illuminated the carpet, the fibers moved, ever so slightly. Heather leaned over and put her hand on the floor. She thought it felt warm, then laughed it off. But there was something about it. It vibrated. It called to her. It felt sticky. She looked out through the window, and a pointy-chin ducked behind the garbage cans, just a moment too slow to remain hidden. The fourth one she’d seen in the past week.

Heather lived on the north side of town, bordering the Great Forest. Her mother died and left her the nine-room house, a small barn, and a mountain of medical debt. She didn’t even want to think about it until after the first of the new year, when she was expecting a modest tax return. Beholden to the bank, she’d slowly have to pay it off and hope she didn’t get sick herself. The pointy-chins were a sign, she was sure, that things were changing for the worse, if that was possible. Her father was ten years gone, her mother just barely a month, and at just twenty years old, she’d have to drop college and get a job if she couldn’t figure out some kind of plan. Her mother’s savings would last another few weeks at most, and she’d sold just about everything she could.

Her mother had told her about the pointy-chins and terrified her into an insomnia stretch that had lasted for days. Now, as she recalled the conversation, the fear on her mother’s face flashed across her mind’s eye: “I know why you don’t see them, Heather. They come out when you’re asleep.” She’d stroked Heather’s head in her lap. The heater clicked on and whirred to life. Somewhere in the far reaches of the house, the walls settled. She dozed there, dreaming of a pair of eyes surrounded in green liquid. She jolted awake to mother’s soothing voice. “The pointy-chins, sweetheart. They know when you sleep.”

March 27th, 2014, 03:16 AM
Here we go again, with you in a S. King mood. Don't know where you're going with this, and I'm not sure I want to know :-)

Must be just a trial ballon though, because the flow didn't seem as smooth as usual. You left me hanging with the warm, vibrating, sticky patch on the floor (No, I don't want to know), while you were off with the green eyed pointy-chins.

Of course, this is just a snippet, so how would I get any real sense of flow.

Also the "and ... and," or just "and" where unneeded, unexpectedly grated a bit, as if this trial ballon escaped early. I know you wouldn't want a staccato rhythm here, but you've done much better.

Don't call me, I'll call you :-)

March 27th, 2014, 03:53 AM
Well, that gave me the shivers. Kudos for upping the creep factor with the pointy-chins. I'll be sure to check behind any dumpsters I pass. There's definite tension there, and I'd like to know more, although I don't know if this is a snippet of something longer or supposed to be flash fiction. The second half of the last paragraph, beginning with "The heater clicked on," confused me at first. I wasn't sure if this was still Heather's flashback or the present. After reading it a few times, I'm thinking it doesn't really matter: it adds to the suspense, uncertainty, and creepiness of the pointy-chins no matter how you read it.

April 12th, 2014, 10:26 AM
The atmosphere that you have created is terrific! Excellent suspense!

April 12th, 2014, 12:56 PM
OK. I like this. It seems like a sophisticated piece of writing that made me, at least, at the end, go, "Oh shit!" to break the tension. As for tension, it was raised throughout the piece until you finally snapped the cord at the end, making it all come together. I really like pieces like that. Good writing, very based off of utility but good nonetheless.

.... :D Good job!

April 18th, 2014, 08:29 PM
I really liked the imagery of the pointy chin creature's just creeping out across her peripheral vision. Really tense stuff.

The internal awareness mechanism bit in the first paragraph makes the protagonist sound a bit like an android though, but she definitely felt more like a human in the subsequent paragraphs.